R&U: Getting Help

So, full disclosure: I told myself I’d really, seriously start therapy at the beginning of last year. It lasted only a few sessions before I managed to talk myself out of it, saying I was too busy and that I didn’t really need it. I could figure this shit out on my own, I said, I don’t need to waste this professional’s time.

Here’s something I know now: if you’re talking to someone because you feel like you need help, you’re not wasting their time. If you seek out someone to talk to because you feel like you’re drowning, you’re not wasting their time.

Reaching out can be very, very hard to do. Sometimes it feels like one step forward, three steps back.

The thing about recovery, be it mental or physical or what have you, is that it’s nonlinear. It’s messy. It’s a bumpy, uphill battle.

The first semester I tried therapy, I told myself I was going to keep going. I didn’t.

Last semester, I told myself I was going to start therapy again. I didn’t.

This semester, I managed to convince myself by promising someone else I would. That’s what made me pick up the phone and call the office to schedule that first appointment. I know that’s not the best, but it’s what I’ve got right now. Someday I will learn to do things because I need to do them for myself, not for someone else.

Someday that will be enough.

That day is not today. And that’s okay.

And if it’s not today for you, either, that’s okay. Hey, we’re all in this together.

I had my first session of the semester on Wednesday, and after it I felt really, really good. I realized some things: first, my therapist wants to help me. Second, I’m not wasting anyone’s time by trying to feel better. And third, I am not defined by my worst day. I’m not defined by what other people think is success or failure.

I define myself, and I define my own success.

I think the most important thing that I have to attempt to internalize is a new mentality: if one of my friends came to me with these concerns and fears, I would be gentle and kind to them. I would listen to them, and offer whatever help I could.

I must be that gentle and kind to myself.

You must be gentle and kind to yourself, too.

Take your time. Be gentle to yourself. Try to be kind to yourself, even on your worst day.

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